Doctor Prescribed Meds That Are Contraindicated

Updated on February 17, 2010
H.D. asks from Dodgeville, WI
14 answers

How do you approach the subject of an incorrect medication being prescribed? Son has a torn eardrum yet was prescribed drops that, upon further research after they were still burning his ear after four days, should not have been prescribed in the first place? This has been our family doc for the last 6 years and I'm not sure how to tactfully bring up the subject.

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answers from Omaha on

Get a second opinion. Don't tell the other doctor what the previous doctor prescribed and see what he gives him.

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answers from Rapid City on

Doctors sometimes ignore those little warnings because they think it will help more then it will hurt. I would go back to him and tell him that you aren't using the drops, they cause him to have pain and burning and after reading that he shouldn't have them in his ears with the broken eardrum, you aren't comfortable using them. If he isn't willing to change it or listen, then it is time to try another doctor. I have found that some doctors get to know you so well, they think, that when you go in with concerns they sit across from you and diagonse without ever checking anything out. This is dangerous to you and your family since they could very well miss something important. I had this happen when I kept telling the doctor that I had a heart flutter that was bugging me. She told me that I was drinking to much caffine and I am over weight. After it was going constantly for 4 days, I went to a different doctor who put me on a heart monitor and found that I have an accelrated heartbeat in the lower left chamber, which could leave to sudden death as those athletes who die on the field from heart attacks. So if you are more worried of hurting the doctor's feelings then bringing up something that concerns you, it is time for a new doctor.



answers from Omaha on

Even the best most absolutely wonderful doctor makes mistakes sometime. Maybe S/he aren't up to snuff on what is the current treatment or see something as ok that isn't. Doesn't mean S/he is a bad doctor just means they made a mistake. We all make them. If you otherwise trust this doctor and this is the first slip up well I'd let it go. If you want to call and confirm the decision and say you have read that this should have been done instead so you are curious why S/he went that route than do it. I've never had a doctor care about that approach.

But also on this paticulr instance if you don't get the answer you want or that you are confident in get a second opinion! That you can always do and if you think something isn't up to snuff go get one. No harm in it.



answers from New York on

watch out. which one was it? ciprodex or ofroxacin?
ciprodex burnt my daughter's ear after her eardrum rupture. she screamed in tears. i stopped it right away. dropped the pediatrician, got another who prescribed the next one. awful



answers from Indianapolis on

Doctors can prescribe medications that are contraindicated. Their medical license gives them the authority to prescribe medications for uses other than those approved by the FDA, and they commonly have to weigh the options on risk vs. benefit on contraindications.

That being said, Family Practitioners are human, too, and the volume of information for which they are responsible is astronomical. You should be able to contact the office, explain the situation and see how they respond. If it is laid back, I'd recommend perhaps finding a new physician. We chose not to see an FP for our kids in favor of a pediatrician because of the focus on those ages.

However, the FDA has several processes in place to try to prevent this situation from happening. Your pharmacist should have caught the problem upon dispensing the medication, too. Additionally, the pharmacy has to legally ask if you have any questions at the time you pick-up the prescription - that's our opportunity to really understand everything about the medication. As parents, we shouldn't be administering anything to our children that we don't fully understand either.

It's easy to assign blame in this situation - the most important thing is that he gets put on the right medication and alleviates the issue with his ear drum.




answers from Minneapolis on

Honestly, you need to throw tact out the window. You don't have to be rude, but you cannot worry about hurting somebody's feelings in a situation like this. Your doctor messed up and it could have been more serious. Everybody makes mistakes and perhaps he will have a reasonable answer for his but you need to be direct and open about this so that it doesn't happen again. You have to be able to trust your doctor.



answers from Houston on

My 10 month old just had a torn eardrum and was prescribed ear drops as well as an oral antibiotic. How do you know that the eardrops should not have been taken? Ours were a topical antibiotic - and we went back in 10 days and his ear was perfectly healed!
I think the best thing would be to simply tell him that the drops were burning his ears? Then maybe ask what they were supposed to help do and ask what his reasoning was for prescribing them -- you know, instead of just starting accusing?



answers from Dallas on

Who says you have to be tactful at this point? I'd be TICKED... you went to the doctor for treatment. It's his JOB to prescribe the correct medication/treatment to help your son. It sounds to me like he was in a hurry and goofed. He owes you an apology at the very least.




answers from Minneapolis on

get a 2nd opinion before your son goes deaf



answers from Minneapolis on

Don't try to be tactful. Just be relaxed and comfortable and trust that your doctor will be grateful to have the information. The way he or she handles this will tell you a lot about whether or not you want to keep on going there. You can be curious about what happened; maybe there's more to it than you realize.



answers from Chicago on

You should be able to talk to your Dr. about ANYTHING!!! And if you can't, he is the wrong Dr.
I have had a chronic medical condition for the past 11 years and have encountered Dr.'s giving me the wrong thing many times. I learned that I am my best advocate- so you are your childrens best advocate. Speak up- let him know that you did research yourself and found that this was not the best thing for him. Ask him what he thinks about your findings. If he is not supportive of what you are saying it is time to find a new Dr.



answers from Dallas on

i guess my question is how do you know the drops shouldn't have been prescribed? many many many times drugs are used "off label"... so, before you go ranting and raving to the doctor's office, i'd check with a pharmacist first and explain the situation in detail and fully. you may just find that the doctor's actions were totally appropriate. on the other hand, you may find that the doctor did, indeed, make an error. if that is the conclusion you reach after talking to a pharmacist, i would calmly call the physician's office in the morning, and ask to have the doctor himself call you asap b/c, after doing some research and speaking to the pharmacist that filled the prescription, you feel that there was a prescribing error. approach him calmly and rationally, and go with your gut. realize that ALL physicians make errors at some point or another, and if this was an error, i'm sorry that the error occurred with your child. additionally, take this as a lesson to ask questions when picking up meds at the pharmacy, it may help prevent your child or other family members from another rx mistake. good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

Dont mean to be harsh but I wouldnt care about being tactful. I would bring it up and ask all the questions you want. Your child is in pain because of their mistake. Ask how it can be corrected and what damage is there.



answers from Seattle on

You don't need to be tactful. As a matter of fact if something like this happens to contact the office RIGHT AWAY and demand to be seen, especially if the medication has been given already and there is a side effect. I don't want to scare you, but some medications (yes, even topicals) can have serious, long lasting side effects. If you experience a reaction to a medication that you don't think is right, contact the doctor right away. In some cases the physician will be able to counteract the unwanted effect or in case of ear or eye drops may perform a lavage to wash out remainders and prevent further damage.
Doctors are human, they make mistakes... if he is offended by you bringing it up, look for another one.

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